VATICAN CITY—Hurrying outside after hearing a disturbingly loud thud against the side of the church, Pope Francis was reportedly left to clean up the remains of a dead angel Monday that flew straight into one of the Sistine Chapel’s windows. “It’s really sad; it seems like one of these guys crashes into a window at least once a week,” said the pontiff, who appeared visibly distressed while sweeping up the feathers scattered around the angel’s lifeless body. “Most of the time, their necks break and they die instantly, but once in a while they’re still twitching a bit. That’s when I find it’s best to put them out of their misery with a shovel.” At press time, the Bishop of Rome was attempting to scrape off an angel splattered on the windshield of the Popemobile.
Tag Archives: Vatican City
The figures show that residents of the Vatican consume 74 litres of wine on average – roughly equivalent to 105 bottles over the course of a year.
That’s around double the amount drunk by the average person in France or Italy as a whole, and triple the quantity consumed in the UK.
There is no denying that the population of the Vatican represents an unusual, and rather uniform, demographic.
As well as the occupational hazard of being required to take ceremonial Communion wine, the National Catholic Reporter said Vatican residents are more likely to be old, male, highly educated and eat in larger groups – all factors that can contribute to greater wine consumption.
These aspects of the Vatican’s national character are more likely to put it at the top than simply its size alone – though other so-called microstates also featured prominently in the Wine Institute’s list.
The fact that it only has a population of around 800 people does make it easy for per-capita figures to be distorted by outlying groups, however – and in the Vatican there is reportedly a single supermarket supplying everyone with wine almost completely tax-free.
Associated Press in Vatican City
theguardian.com, Sunday 24 November 2013
The Vatican has publicly unveiled bone fragments purportedly belonging to Saint Peter, reviving the scientific debate and tantalising mystery over whether the relics found in a shoe box truly belong to the first pope.
The nine pieces of bone sat nestled like rings in a jewel box inside a bronze display case on the side of the altar during a mass commemorating the end of the Vatican’s year-long celebration of the Christian faith. It was the first time they had ever been exhibited in public.
Pope Francis prayed before the fragments at the start of Sunday’s service and clutched the case in his arms for several minutes after his homily.
No pope has ever definitively declared the fragments to belong to the apostle Peter, but Pope Paul VI in 1968 said fragments found in the necropolis under St Peter’s Basilica were “identified in a way that we can consider convincing”.
Some archaeologists dispute the finding.
The relics were discovered during excavations begun under St Peter’s Basilica in the years following the death in 1939 of Pope Pius XI, who had asked to be buried in the grottoes where dozens of popes are buried, according to the 2012 book by veteran Vatican correspondent Bruno Bartoloni, The Ears of the Vatican.
During the excavations, archaeologists discovered a funerary monument with a casket built in honour of Peter and an engraving in Greek that read “Petros eni”, or “Peter is here”.
The scholar of Greek antiquities Margherita Guarducci, who had deciphered the engraving, continued to investigate and learned that one of the basilica workers had been given the remains found inside the casket and stored them in a shoe box kept in a cupboard. She reported her findings to Paul VI, who later proclaimed there was a convincing argument that the bones belonged to Peter.
Leading Vatican Jesuits and other archaeologists strongly denied the claim, but had little recourse.
“No pope had ever permitted an exhaustive study, partly because a 1,000-year-old curse attested by secret and apocalyptic documents, threatened anyone who disturbed the peace of Peter’s tomb with the worst possible misfortune,” Bartoloni wrote.
The Vatican newspaper, l’Osservatore Romano, published excerpts of the book last year, giving his account a degree of official sanction.
In 1971, Paul VI was given an urn containing the relics, which were kept inside the private papal chapel inside the apostolic palace and exhibited for the pope’s private veneration every 29 June, for the feast of saints Peter and Paul. Sunday marked the first time they were shown in public.
The dinner was organized by Circle of Saint Peter, a papal charity as “a concrete sign of the Pope’s charity.”
L’Osservatore Romano reports that Cardinal Bertello, president of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State spent the evening with the guests.
“I welcome you in the name of the Pope. As you know, this is your home, and he is pleased that you are here,” he told the group before dinner was served.
The meal took place near the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican. The Vatican Gendarmes Band performed for the guests as they dined. CNA reports that chefs from Naples prepared the meals and members of the Circle of St. Peter, joined by their wives and children, acted as servers for the meal.
Once the dinner was complete, each guest was given a gift pack with pastries, fresh fruit, and a rosary.
During an address in March Pope Francis decried a society that is more concerned about economic prosperity than homeless people dying of starvation and cold.
“This is happening today. If investments in banks fall, it is a tragedy and people say ‘what are we going to do?’ But if people die of hunger, have nothing to eat or suffer from poor health, that’s nothing. This is our crisis today,” the Pope said.
- Pope Francis invites 200 homeless people to have dinner at the Vatican (craigconsidinetcd.wordpress.com)